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U.S. Soccer Team Knows Not Where It’s Headed

Times Staff Writer

The United States’ World Cup soccer qualifying game against El Salvador that was scheduled for Sunday has been postponed indefinitely, a spokesman for the Federation of International Football Assn. said Tuesday.

Guido Tognoni said from FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, that the game might be played on July 23 in either Tegucigalpa, Honduras, or Canada but that neither the date nor the site will be determined until negotiations are completed among the United States, El Salvador, FIFA and the potential host city.

The game was originally scheduled for San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital, but FIFA ruled last week that no games could be held in El Salvador for at least one month because of a fan disturbance in a June 25 game.

El Salvador requested that the game be moved to Los Angeles, where there is a large Salvadoran population. But two other countries in the five-team qualifying tournament, Costa Rica and Guatemala, objected because they felt it would give the United States the advantage of having an additional home game.

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Tognoni said FIFA failed in efforts to persuade Costa Rica and Guatemala to give their approval so that the game could be played Sunday. He said the only stadium prepared on such short notice was the Coliseum, where tickets have been on sale since Monday. Keith Walker, a U.S. Soccer Federation official, said Saturday that he was 99.99% sure the game would be in Los Angeles.

“The only thing we know for sure now is that the game will not be played in the United States,” Tognoni said.

There is, however, a possibilty that the game will be played in San Salvador, he said. FIFA officials will meet July 25 to decide how much longer the suspension in El Salvador should last. If the suspension is lifted before the United States faces El Salvador, the game probably would be rescheduled for San Salvador.


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